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Characteristics of an Effective University Professor as Determined by Student Ratings

By William C. Hosman

Abstract

A status survey design with predetermined and post hoc groups was employed to investigate what students rated as characteristics of an effective university professor. A professor effectiveness questionnaire designed by Dean and Valdes (1967, as cited by Blai, 01/01/1982) and the researcher was employed. Of the 25 items on the questionnaire the 10 with the largest means were computer analyzed. Five null hypotheses were tested. The five independent variables investigated were gender, grade point average (G .P.A.), status according to traditional or non- traditional, student classification, and student major. Dependent variables were scores from the 10 items rated the highest. All five hypothesis were rejected. It was discovered that the independent variable G.P.A. contained the largest number of significant differences. The significant differences were: 3. 50-4 .00 students rating higher than 3.00-3.49 students when a professor slows his or her pace when subject material is difficult and complex, 1.00-2.90 students rating higher than 3.50-4 .00 students when professors were admired by students, and 3.50-4.00 students rating higher than 3 .00-3.49 students when a professor derives background material from personal experiences. The results of this study supported the findings reported by the following researchers: Ebie (1970 , as cited by Miller, 1972), that effective professors encouraged class discussion; Hildebrand, Wilson, and Dienst (1971, as cited by Centra, 1979), the ability to make difficult topics easier to understand and knowing whether the class was understanding material j Smith and Alvermann (1983), that effective professors were more through and conscientious about spending time with students; and Costin, Greenough, and Menges (1971), that upperclassmen gave higher ratings than did underclassmen . The results of this study appeared to support the following generalizations: 1. Females believe a professor is more effective if s/he recognizes whether students understand material. 2. Students with high G.P.A.\u27s believe a professor is more effective if s/he is admired by students and if s/he obtains material s from written sources. 3. Traditional students believe a professor is more effective if s/he offers most of his or her time to students. 4. Graduate students believe a professor is more effective if s/he allows considerable student participation in lectures. 5. Communications majors believe a professor is more effective if s/he brings knowledgeable guest speakers into class. 6. The total sample believes a professor is more effective if s/he slows the pace when content is difficult and complex, constantly looks for ways to improve his or her class and asks questions which allow the professor to recognize whether students understand material

Topics: Counseling, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Social Work
Publisher: FHSU Scholars Repository
Year: 1986
OAI identifier: oai:scholars.fhsu.edu:theses-2998
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